Post #3 — Resistance to Change
Access to technology is not the only challenge that exists in Education today. Resistance to change amoung my students is a barrier that also needs to be overcome. Quite often they just want me to dish out what they need to know so then they can dish it right back to me and get their good marks. They often do not want the challenge of problem solving and creative thinking that usually goes hand in hand with inquiry based and problem-based learning. Keith Rispin refers to the same phenomena in his blog, http://www.keithrispin.com/editorial/is-our-education-system-mired-in-its-mythology/ (Sept 6, 2012): “They [the students] are as stuck in the teacher centered model as the rest of us.”
Unfortunately, I think students see school as something to endure and get over with as easily as possible. Then, the real learning can happen after; when they have completed this institution that society says you must go through. Students know how to learn on their own. I have watched my own children Google sometimes very difficult strategies for completing their video games. I have seen students on their own time endlessly using technology to learn about the best vehicle or how the universe works. Notice, that none of what I have mentioned here is in traditional school curriculum.
Clearly students have these skills to learn independently using technology. Why do they seem to be so resistant to transferring this to school? For some answers to this, check out the following link: http://trice25.edublogs.org/2011/01/10/what-to-do-when-students-resist-inquiry/
But, I guess it does make sense. Problem solving and critical thinking are actually pretty hard. When I consider my role to one of the challenger and the facilitator, it is my job to arrange to make students feel slightly uncomfortable (not too much, though, or they will just give up!). In this discomfort they will have to grow and that, my friends, is what education should be all about.
My vision of education for the future includes students who see school as a growth opportunity; a place where they solve problems that are relevant to them and that are current; A place where they are allowed to use technology in as many forms as they know how. School is a collaborative, interesting and sometime fun place to be. School is more than just boring hoops to be jumped to get to a better position in life.